Always order the same thing.
It's preferable if itís a simple order. First, if your order is 99%
predictable, they'll have it ready for you when they see you walking up
the parking lot. Second, there's always a 50% chance the employee needs
to go to the washroom and they would much rather be heeding nature's
call than your customer needs. So, being the guy with the complicated
order wins you no points.
Pay with normal money. Don't
try to write a check for a $1.64 coffee. Don't try to pay with a credit
card for a $1.64 coffee. Don't try to pay with a $100 bill for anything.
Don't spend 5 minutes scrounging for exact change. Have your money
ready. Place some (or all) of the change in the tip jar.
Don't be smelly. And your
money should not be smelly, dirty, or wet. Don't try to pay with money
you've just pulled out of your socks or from between your pendulous
Be patient. Accept mistakes
The joy of good customers is when all hell is breaking loose, the
customers are lined up 5 abreast and 9 deep after the July 4 parade, the
customer service person can mentally x-off the good customers in line
and know they'll wait their patient, happy turn. They begin to associate
you with lowered anxiety levels and they come to like you purely by
Pavlovian mechanisms if nothing else.
Smile back. Say
"thanks!" when your order is served.
Don't assume because a person
is giving you good customer service it means the woman wants to date you
or the man wants to be your best friend.
Only engage in chit chat if
chit chatted to first. Be conscious of who is behind you. If there are
other customers waiting, cut any chit chat way way short. Even if the
place is empty, never chit chat too long. They are likely in the middle
of a lull they had earmarked to get things done like restocking the
After a few months, give the
employee a small personal compliment like "hey, that's a great
necklace" or "cool watch!" or "neat glasses!".
But never compliment a person based on physical traits, especially
female service people. This is a quick and easy way to make the person
feel uncomfy. So don't say things like "you got fantastic
legs!" or "what's a pretty girl like you doing
Only give compliments when
they lower the personal barrier first. For example, they say something
like "Are you enjoying the sun today?" or "Got big
plans for the weekend?" They probably don't really care too much
about your answer and don't want a long speech in return. However, that
gives you a chance to give them a short, chipper answer and then slip in
a small compliment.
Once in a while, when you
see their manager, say "you've got a great bunch here!" or
"Kara is fantastic!". Don't be an ass kisser either. Pace your
Don't leave your table
messy. Clean up after yourself.
If you go on holiday, send
them a postcard.
Have normal eyes. Customer
service people develop a deadly accurate sense for the wing nuts by
As customer service people
grow accustomed to you and recognize you as a decent, harmless customer,
they'll begin to do you little favors or bend certain rules. You might
get a free refill, for example. Sometimes when it gets really busy at
Starbucks, they'll discreetly pass me my coffee and let me pay when the
crush is over. What's critical is you should never assume you'll always
be accorded these favors. It's a one way ticket to asshole customerville
if you pipe up with something like "You're charging me for a
refill? The day staff never charges me for a refill."
It's always good to learn
and use people's names but let them ask you your name first. Many people
consider their names very personal and don't freely give them. This is
particularly true of women who have had bad experiences with stalkerish
customers. Even if a person is wearing a name tag, don't use their name
unless they offer it. Some wear their name tags grudgingly and know what
they're truly for: to brand workers so people can complain about them.
So don't simply read their name off a name tag and assume a level
familiarity that's not been given.
When they do give you a
name, try to remember their name and use it in future. "Thanks
Sarah!" "I'm doing good today, Dave!" If they reveal
other personal details about themselves like "Oh, got to study for
my exam this weekend" ask a few days later "hey, how'd that
exam go?" It's nice to think people remember details about our
lives. You seem much more interesting to others when they think you find
Finally don't do anything
disgusting in the washroom.